Biomedical Research; Trouble in Paradise

From the October 19th, 2013 print edition, The Economist published the article “Trouble at the Lab”, an article addressing the issue of reproducing published biomedical work. To sum it up “…researchers would find it hard to reproduce at least three-quarters of all published biomedical findings…”. Why is this happening and why now, what is the cause, and what else is damaging the integrity of research?  With several years of research in academia and industry, and numerous publications, I am aware of the reasons involved, however, recent media based revelations illustrate an increasing level of lunacy relating to research, publications, and getting to the top. And even with the advent of big data, data mining and sophisticated software one would expect an improvement in the trustworthiness of most published biomedical work or the researcher in question. Not always.

Over the next few months we’ll be looking at the issue, and from different angles.  And for any business or academic institute, understanding these issues are vital: Of the candidate selected, do you really know what you’re getting, and do you know what you’re missing?